Crashing into an animal while driving on California roadways wouldn’t have to be a no-win situation if a newly proposed law allowing people to collect the carcass for dinner passes.
Senate Bill 395, presented by Sen. Bob Archuleta (D-Pico Rivera), would allow a person to collect the carcass of an animal killed in an accidental traffic collision.
Under existing law, the action is not illegal but the proposed law would explicitly allow for the taking of the animal and create a wildlife salvage permit process. It’s unclear how much a permit would cost.
According to the proposed bill, more than 20,000 deer alone are killed by vehicles in California.
The measure would apply to deer, elk, antelope and wild pigs.
“It is the intent of this legislation to make available to Californians tens of thousands of pounds of a healthy, wild, big game food source that currently is wantonly wasted each year following wildlife-vehicle collisions,” the bill reads.
The state would not be liable for any harm, injury or loss related to the recovery, transport or consumption of the animal, according to the bill.
If passed, the law would take effect by Jan. 1, 2021.
Several other states including Idaho, Montana, Alaska, Oregon and Washington State already have a permitting process for the taking of roadkill.
PETA released a statement in support of the bill saying, “if people must eat animal carcasses, roadkill is a superior option to the neatly shrink-wrapped plastic packages of meat in the supermarket.”